“2011 is going to be a horrible year”

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

“2011 is going to be a horrible year” - Gen-Sec of the TUC Brendan Barber's says in his New Year Message

“Unemployment will increase as thousands of public servants get made redundant. Just as many - if not more - private sector jobs will go, both as a direct result of the cuts and through the knock-on effects of reduced economic activity.

“Benefit cuts will kick in, and thousands of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people will see real cuts in their living standards.

“It's hard to pick out the unkindest cut of all, but a top contender must be the ten per cent cut in housing benefit that kicks in after someone has been unemployed for more than a year.

“With long term unemployment already rising sharply, the government cannot get away with labeling the long-term unemployed as scroungers when there are more than five jobless chasing every vacancy.

“Cuts in services will start to make a real impact. With the government front-loading cuts in local government and services like the police in the hope that people will forget them before the next election, there will be few people who do not notice their impact.

“High profile services such as libraries will cause widespread anger, but there will also be deep cuts to much less visible services that directly support the vulnerable. And for all the talk of the Big Society and charities stepping into the gap, the brutal truth is that voluntary organizations will face some of the deepest cuts of all.

“It could well be a horrible year for the government too. Already it has faced anger in constituencies where much-needed new schools were canceled, and protests from students and school-children at cuts in EMAs and higher tuition fees. But 2011 will see many more people directly affected, and anger is likely to grow.

“What is becoming clear to people is just how unfair the coalition's policies are. Those who did least to cause the crash are being made to take the nastiest medicine with the worst side-effects.

“Spending cuts inevitably hit those on low and middle incomes, while taxes - such as a Robin Hood Tax and real efforts to deal with tax avoidance - can be targeted on those who can afford to pay.

“Yet even the modest tax contribution chosen by the coalition is VAT - the unfairest tax of all.

“The British people are never that interested in politics, but we do have a deep sense of fairness that goes across traditional party lines. As none of these policies were put to voters before the election, this could well be the year that the country starts to say 'no' to government in a way that they have not since middle Britain made a previous Conservative government abolish the poll tax.

“The TUC's March for the Alternative on 26 March promises to be one of the biggest events that we have ever organized, but local campaigns and protests that do not hit the national headlines could well make just as much an impact in those constituencies where there are coalition MPs with small majorities.

“And as an abstract national debate about the deficit is overshadowed by personal experiences of job cuts and service reductions, there will be much more interest in economic alternatives.

“The decision to cut the deficit in four years and to take £4 out of services for every £1 in tax was a political choice, not an economic necessity. Stimulating growth and progressive tax are safer and fairer ways to reduce the deficit.

“This is going to be a year when many people suffer, but it just could be the year when the campaign for change really gets going.”

Having so far allowed Brenda Barber to speak I will add my own thoughts here and the first is that it is unfair to blame to coalition government for all the problems. They have inherited empty treasury coffers thanks to the previous Labor government's lavish spending left, right and center, and on things that we should never be involved in.

To be a poodle to the American aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan was and is wrong for starters, and the purchase of submarines at the tune of over one billion Pounds Sterling, which then will run aground because of faulty navigational systems, was also total folly.

Worse still the great deal for two aircraft carriers that dear Uncle Gordon got us into which are going to be total white elephants and which would cost us several times more to cancel the orders than to have them built to have scrapped not long after.

This order was nothing but shenanigans by the previous Prime Minister to make himself popular in the constituencies around the Clyde, whose shipyards are the beneficiaries of the orders.

And despite all this the trade unions will continue to support the Labor Party which has shown that it itself no longer cares one bit for what the original Labor Party was founded and the likes of Comrade Brockway and Salter, and others, are turning in their graves for shame and anger of what the likes of Blair, Brown and Milliband have turned the party into.

Don't you all think, Comrades, it is time that we all woke up and smelled the roses and finally realized that none of the political parties in this country will ever do anything for the working man and that we will have to do it ourselves? Get real folks! Labor is just the opposite coin of the Tories, with the Whigs.

Working people suffer and will suffer, and those in local government especially, and those that are dependent on the services of local government, but that is also due to the fact that the unions have lost their proverbials and have been believing that the New Labor government of Blair and his successors was going to help the poor workers.

Don't you believe it.

Labor has no more interest in the poor workers as do the Tories or the Whigs – or the CPGB.

So, what to do?

© 2011